JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brent from Lake City, FL:
Chris Clemons … gone. Zane Beadles … gone. Toby Gerhart's next, right? I mean, RIGHT!!??
John: Not necessarily. The Jaguars indeed released defensive end Chris Clemons and guard Zane Beadles Thursday. I wasn't at all surprised by the Clemons release; it was obvious to anyone paying attention that he would be released before the March 9 start of the 2016 league year. I was a little surprised Beadles was released; I thought he would be given a chance to compete in training camp and possibly remain as a backup if he took a pay cut. As for Gerhart, I don't get the idea he necessarily will be released. While he has been injured and mostly unproductive in his two seasons here, General Manager David Caldwell said last week at the combine he believed there was a role on the team for Gerhart. A lot of fans won't like or understand this, but I have no reason to think Caldwell didn't mean what he said.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Are you disappointed the Vikings game next season is in Jax and you will not get a chance to see the new stadium?
John: Last night I cried.
Daniel from Jacksonville since Day One:
Yep, time will tell ... but will she say something different this year from what she has been saying in recent years? I hope so, but remember the definition of insanity: doing the same thing again and again while expecting a different outcome.
John: That's one definition of insanity. It's one that often gets mentioned here in the O-Zone. There's also the NFL definition of insanity, which is to throw money at free agency without a real plan while not drafting well and changing regimes/coaches every two years. Another part of the NFL definition of insanity is to make change for the sake of change while not seeing the big picture. A lot of teams follow this path. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is trying to avoid that path by sticking with a plan for the long-term. But yeah … time will tell.
Jim from Middleburg, FL:
If Zane Beadles and Julius Thomas are what you get with a gazillion dollars for a free agent, I say stick with the draft and keep cap dollars so you can keep the best players. Use some cap to employ depth. This helps with injuries.
John: Beadles and Thomas aren't really comparable signings. The Jaguars signed Beadles essentially as a stop-gap free agent, as evidenced by his release Thursday after two seasons causing essentially no dead money on the team's salary cap. That meant the Jaguars really weren't surprised at all that he was a two-year player. Thomas was signed for far more guaranteed money than Beadles with the idea that he would be a core player; releasing him in the early years of his contract would be much more of a hardship. And while I agree free agency is a less-than-ideal way of acquiring players, I don't see Thomas as a bad free-agent signing. He caught five touchdown passes in 12 games last season and made the offense better. That's what you want from free agents, particularly in their first season.
Phillip from Harpers Ferry, WV:
O, when dealing with a transition-tagged player, does the team making the offer have the right to make a counter offer if the player's current team matches the original offer? Or is just a one-shot deal?
John: It's a one-shot deal. If the player's current team matches the pursuing team's offer, then the player stays with his current team.
Richard from Northampton, UK:
Hey, Mr. O, with the team's cap space being released recently … do the teams set aside a portion of that space for the upcoming draft class? Or is that money deducted first to give us how much a team can spend in free agency? Also, has a team ever not been able to afford a drafted player? Thanks, and keep up the good work. #DWTD
John: Teams must set aside a portion of their cap space to sign rookies. Unless I'm forgetting something, no team ever has been unable to sign a rookie, though plenty of teams have been very tight against the cap when signing their rookie class.
Michael from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Olivier Vernon, Alex Mack, Bruce Irvin and Janoris Jenkins. Why not? Oh, add in Malik Jackson or Danny Travathan. Why not?
John: Indeed, why not?
Robert from Fernandina Beach, FL:
If Pro Football Focus ranks Wisniewski one better than Alex Mack, why go "all in" for him rather than "all in" for Olivier Vernon? This is assuming we don't get BOTH of them.
John: The key word in your email is "assuming," and your questions indeed assume a lot of things. First, don't assume a higher-ranked player in PFF is better than the lower-ranked player; PFF's rankings are valuable tools, but they're not the end-all. Also, don't assume pursuing Alex Mack means not going all in for Vernon. One doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the other.
Joe from Lithia, FL:
I think the Chargers take Jalen Ramsey at No. 3 if he's there. That being said, what would it take for the Jags to trade up with Cleveland and take him at No. 2?
John: Too much.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Are other teams' salary-cap information and player contracts available for all general managers to review? That would be very valuable information to know when attempting to sign a player who has a transition tag.
John: Yes, all salary-cap information is available to all teams – and yeah, it's critical information when planning for free agency.
Luis from Setion412 and St. Johns:
Sir Oh, it bothers me when I see questions and comments like the one from Adam from St. Johns. Why do some fans think they can speak for every Jaguars fan? What boat is he on that there are only "few" that haven't jumped ship? And how does he know if I will be "jumping ship after next season if it's as terrible as it seems to be"? I'm not - and I wish "fair-weather" fans would stop talking for those of us who know it's only a game and enjoy the experience, win or lose (but most preferably win). My Jaguars, win or lose, are my Jaguars! #DTWD #moodachay
John: I don't believe fans such as Alan are fair-weather fans; fans have every reason to be frustrated with the record in recent seasons – and they also have every right to voice their opinions. I just as fervently believe that such fans don't remotely speak for all Jaguars fans.
Renee from #DTWD:
Sooooo.... is Alex Mack going to be on the Caldwell radar? Duh. IF the Jags do sign Mack, Dave Caldwell is a "genius!!" Gotta love that "transition" tag and how contracts can be manipulated to the offering club's advantage. So wouldn't it be cool to have Joeckel, Linder, Mack, Cann and Parnell the starting O-line for 2016? Free agency will be fun. It wouldn't surprise me if Malik Jackson or Olivier Vernon is a Jaguar this season, even with the transition tag on Vernon. Gotta love Dave's clairvoyance. So Let's GO JAGUARS!!!!
John: The NFL's free-agency period begins March 9 at 4 p.m.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
What factors cause a defensive unit to be effective on first and second downs but all of a sudden can't stop the opponent on third down?
John: An inability to rush the passer with four down linemen is one factor. An inability to rush the passer with four down lineman is another. Still another is an inability to rush the passer with four down linemen.
Zain from Nashville, TN:
If Dante Fowler had torn his ACL before the draft (assume after the combine, Pro Day, and the full mock draftery business) and not before the season, and he was coming out last year, when would you draft him O-man?
John: I have no idea when I would have drafted him. But considering Todd Gurley went No. 10 to the St. Louis Rams having torn an anterior cruciate ligament late in his final season at Georgia – I think it's safe to assume a player worth the No. 3 overall selection in the draft when healthy would still have been a mid-to-late first round selection with that injury.
Kevin from Sault Ste Marie, ON, Canada:
Is Bruce Irvin worth premium money for the lack of pass rush he has gotten thus far in his career?
John: I guess "lack of pass" rush is a matter of perspective. Irvin on a very good Seattle defense was third this past season in sacks, pressures and quarterback hurries. Is he a double-digit sacks guy? Perhaps not. Is he a good enough player to help a defense? Absolutely. Here's the thing about your question about premium money: Irvin is going to get it and a lot of other free agents are, too. Are those players going to be "worth the money" they receive? Very likely not. That's the nature of free agency.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
Fans are "jumping ship" because of Gus?? Where do you find these guys?
John: They find me. I'm lucky that way.
O-Zone: The lucky one
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brent from Lake City, FL: